Brocton rallies past Panama, 4-2, in CCAA Division 2 West baseball

OBSERVER Photo by Roger Coda Brocton Bulldogs starting pitcher Michael Steward delivers a pitch during Wednesday’s CCAA Division 2 West baseball game, against Panama, at Brocton High School. Brocton won the game, 4-2.

OBSERVER Staff Report

BROCTON — The Brocton Bulldogs came out on top of a CCAA Division 2 West baseball showdown with Panama, 4-2, after four scoreless innings on both sides started the game off at Brocton High School on Wednesday. Brocton was designated the visiting team, despite the game being played in Brocton, due to field condition concerns in Panama.

Brocton’s Michael Steward pitched four scoreless innings for the Bulldogs, but he was matched by Panama’s Gerrit Hinsdale. It took until Steward tired in the fifth inning for either side to light up the scoreboard.

“They both did great,” said Brocton head coach Rob Fetterick. “For our side, Michael (Steward) for his first time throwing in a big league game for us, I thought he did a great job for us.”

Panama took the lead after a pair of RBI singles in the fifth inning by Gabe Roth and Ryan Joslyn. Roth, an eighth grader, caught the attention of Brocton’s coaching staff.

“He’s going to be a heck of a ballplayer,” said Fetterick of Roth.

Before recording an out in the fifth inning, Brocton made the move to its ace out of the bullpen. Ronald “Bubba” Brown came on in relief and shut down the Panama lineup the final three innings. He only allowed two hits, while striking out seven.

Like Steward, Panama’s Hinsdale allowed multiple runs in the later innings after tiring out, as the Bulldogs capitalized with three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Caleb Chelton reached base on an error, then Dakota Planty reached on a single and Ryan Laurito reached on an error that scored Chelton on the play. Derrick Burns followed with an RBI single to score Planty, then Laurito came in on a passed ball to give Brocton the lead, 3-2. The Bulldogs added a run in the seventh inning after Jordan Krystofiak singled, stole second base and came in on an RBI groundout by Chelton.

Steward finished with four-plus innings pitched, four hits allowed and two runs, with a pair of strikeouts. Brown pitched three shutout innings in relief to earn the win. Hinsdale earned the loss for Panama after pitching five-plus innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out four. Jevan Newman finished off the game on the mound for Panama.